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Opinion

  • Nonprofits pay off for New Mexico  By Ona Porter  Following the close of the 2008 legislative session and in preparation for a special legislative session on health care, New Mexico Youth Organized (NMYO) and Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) distributed mailers to the constituents of six legislators. The mailers informed constituents about how their legislators were voting on critical issues and provided information about the source of contributions their legislators were receiving from special interests.

  • I don’t think about the world from the point of view of plants very often. I mostly consider our friends in the plant kingdom as the stationary green stuff around me when I’m outdoors and possibly the makings of salad in the summers. 

    But plants are also teaching me a thing or two as I grow older. I’ve taken to planting trees in middle age, I guess because of the emotional connection between trees and spans of time that are beyond those of a human lifetime. Nothing quite satisfies me as much as planting a hardwood.

  • New Mexico has a long history of battling political corruption, dating back to well before statehood.  

  • “I don’t need maternity care.” Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. lobbed this comment against Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s, D-Mich., efforts to guarantee maternity coverage as a basic benefit in healthcare reform. “Your mom probably did,” Stabenow famously shot back. That exchange and the wave of support that followed for Stabenow’s proposals illustrates how out of step Kyl is with a huge majority of Americans, including those in his own party.

  • I have questions.  The County’s Strategic Goals document specifically calls on us to “Preserve our history.”  What, exactly, does that mean?  Whose history?  Which history?  What history?  Does the period from 1950 - 2000 count, or are we only talking about the Manhattan Project?  What is meant by “preserve?”  “Preserve” what and in what manner?

  • LA Cares has an urgent need and once again is turning to the community for assistance. We are looking for a dedicated volunteer, preferably more than one, to make food box deliveries on the second Friday morning of each month.

       There are approximately 15 clients unable, for a variety of reasons, to pick up their boxes and select from additional items such as breads and vegetables.

  • The Council is preparing to select a site for the next Municipal Building.  Unfortunately, the result of this very important decision is likely to be compromised by an unfortunate urgency.  

    I am not referring to the excellent work done by the Municipal Building Site Selection Steering Committee. They analyzed and deliberated in a methodical manner that is to be commended.  

  • University of New Mexico - Los Alamos Campus is a valued asset to the community in that we provide an affordable, quality education for a diverse population of students.  UNM-LA holds the promise and dedication of promoting learning opportunities that will help students create hope for a brighter future. We at UNM-LA make the college experience exciting and rewarding with small classes, leading edge studies, a flexible schedule to fit your lifestyle, good resources, student activities and advisement throughout coursework.

  •  Call me strange, but I don’t drive a Humvee armed with a 50-caliber gun turret shooting up the neighborhood.

    I don’t engage in mortal combat with 800-pound lizard-people, vaporizing them with crystal swords or energy grenades.

    I don’t fight evil hordes of Planet Zorton, protecting the planet from certain doom. And yet somehow, I manage to cope with the day-to-day existence known to normal people as “life.”

  • In case you haven’t heard, there will be no cost of living increase for Social Security recipients next year. This has spurred outrage and consternation on Capitol Hill. After all, seniors vote in large numbers and are a politically-powerful voting bloc, so efforts to placate senior citizens are usually received favorably in Congress.

  • I have known Penny Granich and her family since 1999.  She worked for me at the Blue Window Bistro as my manager.  She is a great worker.  I got to know her family also at that time.  I have watched as she has struggled to keep afloat after the horrific accident of Dec. 4, 2005.  I was saddened by Tom’s death.  I sat through the trial and was thrilled when her not-guilty verdict was read.  We thought it was finally over.

  • This year is the 400th birthday of science and engineering. It’s an occasion worth noting and giving thanks for because each day those twin disciplines improve the lives of billions of people around the world. (Beyond that, science and engineering are awfully fun, so their total effect is sort of like combining doing good all around the planet with the pure joys of playing chess).

  • Thomas Malthus’ “Essay on the Principle of Population” (1798) predicts that population growth, spurred by societal improvements, eventually will outstrip natural resources leading to universal famine and the demise of civilization. It reasons that population growth is exponential, while growth of food production is linear.

  • Last year at this time, we were staring into an economic sinkhole, wondering if it had a bottom. In New Mexico, we’re usually spared the worst of downturns or there’s a delay in its impact, and this time we’ve seen both. Now, as we feel the monster’s tail lash our industries and our job market, it’s a good time to take stock.

    When I say, “First, the bad news,” you can assume there’s some good news.

    Really.

  • Myth:  Obama doesn’t want government-run healthcare.  

    Fact: Obama is on tape recorded as saying, “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.  I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. “

    Gee, sounds like socialized medicine to me. You decide.

    Myth: The current leadership is not pushing us towards socialism.

  • Marita K. Noon either made a serious writing error in her recent Guest Column, “Eliminate redundancy to fix the budget,” or else she needs a substantive remedial course in elementary mathematics.

      She quotes Oil Conservation Director Fesmire as “sputtering,” that “... the OCD annual budget was only about 4 percent of the state’s budget PROBLEMS” (emphasis added).

  • Here’s something most of us know: There is a correlation between the Earth’s temperature and the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. And here’s another measure: CO2 concentrations grew 60 percent faster during the last eight years than in the 1990s.

  • If you could eliminate 4 percent of your debt with one pen stroke, you’d want to do that wouldn’t you — especially if it meant removing some redundancy from your expenditures? For example, if you are renting an apartment and it includes free cable Internet access, but you were also paying for DSL through the phone company, you’d quickly cancel your DSL service.

  • There are many places in the U.S wherea the value of education may seem abstract, but in Los Alamos that value is tangible. It can be seen and felt.

    Education built this town and it remains one of the best educated population in the country. To cite a typical example, 60 percent of Los Alamos residents have bachelor’s degrees, compared to 24 percent in the country as a whole, according to the last census.

    Even with hard choices in store for our community’s educational future, Los Alamos is more fortunate than most.

  • SANTA FE — What will come from the special legislative session that started Saturday? It may be the state’s most important special session ever.

    Gov. Bill Richardson and lawmakers will have to plug a budget hole of some $700 million. That’s a $700 million shortfall that has occurred since last March when the 2009 session ended.  By August, it was up to $400 million. In September, it climbed to $550 million. And now it’s October.